Amarula: One Jazzy BeverageCOFFEE, EXOTIC BEVERAGES, MUSIC, QUEBEC — By Milli Thornton on July 11, 2009 at 22:16
AS ONE WOULD expect, the Montréal Jazz Festival is held largely outdoors.
The festival layout includes stages for the performers, food and beverage stalls, sports cars on display, an alfresco restaurant serving mainly wine and appetizers and a playground for the kids. Stalls devoted to related fun stuff such as festival souvenirs, dance lessons and face painting for kids adds to the festive spirit.
We arrived at the Jazz Fest late on the afternoon of July 2, acutely aware that we had only three days to do it all. To really do the festival you need at least a week (plus some serious stamina).
Our first reaction to the outdoor scene was disappointment, for two reasons: the ominous, cloudy weather—it either threatened to or did rain for three days in a row—and missing our first free concert because we didn’t know the location of the all stages yet.
However, my gloominess morphed to happy buzz as soon as I tried an Amarula drink from a nearby stall.
I was unacquainted with Amarula but it sounded fun. We were given a choice of flavors and, naturally, I chose coffee.
The result was a frappé style of drink prepared with blenderized ice.
Ohhh and it went down easy! One of those dangerously yummy drinks that could get you into trouble fast because it’s so more-ish. I was supposed to share it with Brian, but he was too busy crawling all over a Camaro SS 2010 to notice that he only got a few sips.Amarula is produced in Africa from the fruit of the mystical Marula or Elephant Tree. The fruit is harvested from the veld by locals. The pulp then goes through a fermentation process similar to winemaking.
(Ever watched the YouTube video of the African critters getting rolling drunk? Yep, they were feasting on the marula fruit.)
The marula wine is distilled in column stills, and then in copper-pot stills, to produce a spirit. It’s then matured for two years in oak barrels. The final step is the blending of the liqueur with the finest, fresh cream until a smooth consistency is formed.
From Amarula HQ:
“The creaming process is of the highest standard, resulting in a cream product that is delectably rich and soft, with an alcohol content of 17%.”
I went back to my favorite drink (red wine) during the remainder of our time in Montréal. But that drive-by Amarula buzz definitely put me in the right frame of mind to relax and get over the Rainy Jazz Blues.
Sacré bleu. I regret not going back to that Amarula stall while I still had the chance.
All photos on this page Copyright © 2009 Brian Williams